If you’re in a relationship. It turns out Facebook can be good for you.
By Kait Smith
Last updated on Sep 08, 2023
Photo: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A / Shutterstock and logosandbrands via Canva
You may think spending too much time on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and X (the app formerly known as Twitter) is a bad thing. It eats at your time. It’s a tool for procrastination. You’ve become a stalker… But you might want to think twice before attempting a social networking sabbatical, especially if you’re in a relationship.
Pew Research Center sought to investigate whether social networking on Facebook isolated people or truncated their relationships. Their Internet and American Life Project sponsored a survey of 2,225 Americans to examine how Facebook and other sites affected their everyday life.
While some of the results were quite obvious — more people use Facebook on a daily basis, for example — other findings from the survey provide an interesting glimpse into how social networking can improve interpersonal relationships, including romantic ones.
Here are three positive ways Facebook affects relationships.
1. Facebook may make you more trusting.
The folks at Pew asked survey respondents if they thought, in general, “most people can be trusted.” Overall, someone who uses the web is twice as likely as those who don’t to be trusting of others. However, Facebook users are even more likely.
Those who used the site more than once a day were 43% more likely than other internet users to have faith in others.
2. Facebook may lead to closer relationships.
Pew data states that the average American has about two people with whom they can discuss important matters. Those with Facebook, however, have 9% more close ties in their social circle as compared to other internet users.
Perhaps this is because the site can help revive what Pew calls “dormant” relationships, like friends from high school and college that you may not see on a regular basis.
3. Facebook may mean more social support.
Piggybacking off of the “closer relationships” finding, Pew investigated how much total support — emotional, companionship, etc. — adults receive. The average American scored a 75 out of 100. Those who spend time on the internet scored higher overall, but Facebook users — more specifically, those who visit the site several times a day — scored five points higher in each category.
The additional boost, researchers say, is equivalent to “about half the total support that the average American receives as a result of being married or cohabitating with a partner.”
What does it all mean?
Although the report doesn’t suggest conclusions about why Facebook users tend to be more trusting, have closer relationships and more social support, we’ve got a few ideas of our own.
Overall, social networking keeps people in constant contact, no matter what distance separates them. You can maintain a close relationship with your best friend who lives across the country without ever having to pick up the phone — just like, comment, or share to their Facebook.
When it comes to romance, you don’t want to keep constant oversight on your partner’s page, as that can be an indication of social networking becoming an issue in the relationship. However, you’re probably more willing to trust them if there is nothing suspicious on their Facebook.
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Kait Smith is a freelance writer living and working the the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York State.